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Old 09-11-2019, 01:10 PM   #1
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Question Looking for a PPE product suggestion

Hi all,

New to the forums so hello to everyone. Wanted to call on the collective wisdom and experience here to hopefully help solve a problem or at least put a nail in said problem such that it's just-one-of-those-things-and-better-get-used-to-it.

NFPA 70E requires that for working on exposed energized parts at 250 volts and above we're required to wear voltage rated gloves and leather protectors. I'm all about safety and especially at these levels couldn't be behind this more. I'm over safety and PPE at my company and I love it when our boys get their PPE on. However, the common complaint is that the bulkiness off two sets of gloves (and especially with the ones that are generally available, which tend to be loose and floppy as hell) make work considerably more difficult and clumsy. Maybe not if you're torque wrenching lugs, sure, but handling smaller hardware, wire nuts, et al... I sympathize with these guys completely; while making a safety training video and just wearing my fairly fitted leather gloves with no voltage rated gloves on a 120/240 panelboard I felt clumsy, which seems in and of itself somewhat of a safety hazard.

Question is; is anyone out there aware of a glove kit for 250 and up that is more on the snug/fitted side where you still have some dexterity? something where the electrician doesn't have folds of fabric and rubber interfering with everything he does? Any suggestions at all would be most appreciated.
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Old 09-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SWElectric View Post
Hi all,

New to the forums so hello to everyone. Wanted to call on the collective wisdom and experience here to hopefully help solve a problem or at least put a nail in said problem such that it's just-one-of-those-things-and-better-get-used-to-it.

NFPA 70E requires that for working on exposed energized parts at 250 volts and above we're required to wear voltage rated gloves and leather protectors. I'm all about safety and especially at these levels couldn't be behind this more. I'm over safety and PPE at my company and I love it when our boys get their PPE on. However, the common complaint is that the bulkiness off two sets of gloves (and especially with the ones that are generally available, which tend to be loose and floppy as hell) make work considerably more difficult and clumsy. Maybe not if you're torque wrenching lugs, sure, but handling smaller hardware, wire nuts, et al... I sympathize with these guys completely; while making a safety training video and just wearing my fairly fitted leather gloves with no voltage rated gloves on a 120/240 panelboard I felt clumsy, which seems in and of itself somewhat of a safety hazard.

Question is; is anyone out there aware of a glove kit for 250 and up that is more on the snug/fitted side where you still have some dexterity? something where the electrician doesn't have folds of fabric and rubber interfering with everything he does? Any suggestions at all would be most appreciated.
You're using a torque wrench on a live live lug?! And what wire nuts are you doing live? I'm sure in your safety program there are rules against live work?
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:43 PM   #3
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Please find and take a NFPA 70E training class. There shouldn't really be energized work performed unless there is a hazard to life safety, or it is safer to perform the task energized. I'm sure your company would want to implement some forms of elimination first, before just throwing on PPE.



Ohhh and I'd put on your moon man suit because you're probably going to catch some *poop* for this post.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:19 PM   #4
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Yes it is a "just do it" rule. I agree 100% about it may create a safety hazard but we have no choice. Troubleshooting is something that has to be done hot, and a moonsuit makes it a pain.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:30 PM   #5
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I have to agree that you need to take a course in electrical safety.

"working on exposed energized parts at 250 volts and above".......Try slipping that one by the instructor.

As for gloves im puzzled.

If your guys are working under 500v a set of 00 gloves ordered in the correct size are comfortable and ive watched my helper pick his nose while wearing them so im sure he can work a wire nut.
The main crap electricians have to deal with is tight wad safety guys who refuse to kit us with the correct gear.

If we work on multiply voltages we need more than one pair of gloves. (look at a glove rating chart) We also require the gloves to be the right size for our hand not a standard one size fits all. (measure the persons hand before ordering)
The gloves will need to be tested every 6 months so each guy will probably require a spare set while one pair are out for testing and if its hot or cold we also require cotton under-gloves that are also sized for our hands.
The company i work for simply replaces mine every 6 months as it works out easier than sending the gloves off for testing (some gloves come with no test stamp so check with your supplier).

It costs about $500,000 to treat a electrical shock/arc burn and that's just the average cost. Some of us go for the full life flight and a 3 month vacation in a burn unit which will costs a few million in medical. Compare that to any cost saving for working live or being a tight wad and not supplying the correct equipment (that includes over sized) then try to explain that to a lawyer when they tear you a new one on the witness stand.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:38 PM   #6
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You're using a torque wrench on a live live lug?! And what wire nuts are you doing live? I'm sure in your safety program there are rules against live work?
1: It was just an example. it's ooookay. breathe. Further, there are products that would allow one to do this safely. Not sure why they'd be manufactured if it wasn't in some cases a necessity. just Google "insulated torque wrenches".

2: One example would be 277v lighting. Again, just an example.

3: Yes there are, definitely.

Lastly; I just wanted to know if anyone had any good recommendations on gloves in the event live work was necessitated. that's all. I know that that 1/1000th of a $20 walmart gift card is pretty irresistible though.

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Please find and take a NFPA 70E training class. There shouldn't really be energized work performed unless there is a hazard to life safety, or it is safer to perform the task energized. I'm sure your company would want to implement some forms of elimination first, before just throwing on PPE.



Ohhh and I'd put on your moon man suit because you're probably going to catch some *poop* for this post.
1. Fair enough. I should take a class. I have that suit on always lol. And valid points all around, we do do a lot of deenergizing, LOTO, off-peak scheduling, etc. I'm not a total stranger to the forums, I kind of expect to be s**t on, that seems to be the general reaction to a new post, new member, days ending in "y", etc.

I guess at this point I'll just call this an experiment to see if these forums are a useful thing where you can ask a question and get an answer to that question.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:06 PM   #7
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Like gpop said, gloves need to be sized. Having one set of size 12 for everybody doesn't cut it. Most of the time the work can be done with the power turned off. Have seen my share of incidents where the power ended up off due to a ground fault, arc flash, sparks everywhere. Instead of scheduling the power off, now you've got an unscheduled power outage. Most of the time I use my gloves for testing that power is on/off, or operating switch gear.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:59 PM   #8
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There are plenty of instances where live work is required, particularly in the utility field. That's why the rule exists.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:16 PM   #9
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As others said, get the right size! They flop all over if you don't.


Second you asked for options. Keep in mind first off that shock hazards from OSHA and 70E come from IEEE 519. 70E has a tendency to throw out the baby with the bathwater though and really does an atrocious job of it. Like when they deleted the cover up rules that is standard practice in line work.


First one is notice the section on cord-and-plug equipment where it says something about wearing clean, dry leather gloves. Obviously they are using these in a "voltage rated" situation. There is no doubt that at least up to 300 V or so, clean dry leather is more than enough protection. You need less than 1 mm of air/insulator separating you from the equipment. So why isn't "00" just leather gloves? For the simple reason that the test scenario is to fill the glove with water up to a certain distance from the cuff, lower it into a tank of water up to the same level, then hi pot the glove. Theoretically there is a maximum leakage current but realistically what happens is that gloves that fail blow apart or the pinhole gets so huge you can easily see it. Leakage current doesn't really matter because it either passes or fails so spectacularly that leakage doesn't matter. BUT this should give you a hint about something else. The problem with leather gloves is that obviously they utterly fail this test so they aren't "voltage rated". But for cases of 150 V or less where NFPA 70E says "avoid contact", if your hands are covered by clean, dry leather gloves, obviously contact can't happen. When you are above that voltage rating though it switches to a certain number of INCHES and obviously the dry leather gloves approach goes out the window.



When it comes to shock protection, either the TOOL or the EQUIPMENT needs to be built in such a way that you can't INADVERTENTLY (70E's word) get a shock. I'll come back to this in a minute but 70E says that this applies when the equipment is exposed which means that it is not insulated, guarded, or inaccessible. Guarded means that the live parts are just recessed and/or the insulation is stripped close enough so that inadvertent contact can't happen. And this is situational too. So for instance a trough isn't normally considered exposed until you are running a metal fish tape up inside it blindly (without the doors open). You can of course temporarily insulate. Slap cover up (rubber blankets) on it or close the doors or do anything else to cover exposed equipment. Linemen routinely do this when there are two different sets of power lines in an area for safety reasons.



IEEE 519 makes this much more clear. 70E just makes a huge mess of a very simple concept. There are 3 acceptable methods of performing energized work. I'll just dispense with the newest method right now because it's not really practical below 69 kV: bare hands, live line. In this work method the lineman puts on a chainmail suit, uses a helicopter or a special insulated bucket truck or platform, and clips onto the live line so that the lineman is "grounded" to the live electrical line and the "ground" becomes energized from their perspective. This is probably not the method you will be using.


The second approach is to use insulated tools. The classic lineman approach uses a hot stick. But insulated 1000 V tools are so common now that even Harbor Freight sells them. And a multimeter counts, too. The only trick here is that for the low voltage (1000 V or less) category some kind of guard or "nub" is necessary to keep your hands from accidentally slipping down onto the business end of the tool. This is how electricians have done voltage readings for years and it is just fine doing it that way. There is one small exception. For some goofy reason Eastern US linemen insist on wearing insulated gloves while using hot sticks. Western linemen don't do that. It's just a goofy cultural thing. Also don't worry about the "restricted approach distance" thing. When using a multimeter for instance your hands will be inside the 1-3 foot "boundary" depending on which silly rule you are reading but the tool is designed specifically for this reason. It takes a lot less solid insulation than air for the same protection, as long as you're not reaching through a bunch of other exposed wiring. That's what cover up or sleeves are all about.



Finally get out the gloves if direct manipulation is necessary. That's why 70E is so big on gloves, but they glossed right over and pretty much ignored the insulated tool work method. For most industrial electrical work, particularly controls and low voltage (600 V or less), using rubber gloves work method is really rare and usually limited to things like sorting through wiring in a trough where you might suspect a problem or some kind of blind reaching, or in a situation where you can brush up against something. Other than that, it should be a rare event.
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